Don't Miss Executive Chef Mark's Perfect Appetizers For Summer Weddings

He also prepares a wonderful signature drink, too!

PEORIA, IL - When planning your wedding, you may want to consider providing a pre-reception event. You can offer butler passed hors d'oeuvres and a signature wedding drink. Today, Living Well Executive Chef Mark offers great suggestions for both. Here are the recipes:

“Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Appetizer”

By Certified Executive Chef Mark Shoopman, CEC, CFBE


12 each 16/20 to a pound peeled and deveined shrimp with the tail on

6 each Strips of smoked bacon cut in half

4 each Metal or Bamboo skewers (soak the bamboo ones for 30 minutes before use)

2 cups Pineapple salsa

As desired Chef Marks seasoning, Recipe follows

½ cup Chef Mark’s Sweet and Spicy Sauce, recipe follows


Make certain the shrimp and completely thawed and patted dry. Gently run a sharp knife along the slit where they are deveined and press back down on a flat surface to remove the vein running down the back. Cut the bacon strips in half and gently wrap the strips around the shrimp belly and back.

Cut the peach and remove the pit. Cut into 8 wedges and set aside.

Take the skewer and gently pierce the shrimp by the tail and then through the top of the shrimp to secure it. Alternate the peach wedge and shrimp until there are 3 shrimp and two peach wedges on each skewer. Heat the grill to medium high heat and cook the kebobs approximately 3 minutes on each side until the shrimp are cooked and the bacon is browned and crisp. Remove and serve over the pineapple salsa and top with sweet and spicy sauce.

Chef Mark’s Spice Blend:

1 ½ tablespoons Chili powder

1 tablespoon Good quality smoked paprika

2 tablespoons Sea salt

1 tablespoon Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Dried Oregano

1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Dried Thyme

1 tablespoon Granulated garlic

1 tablespoon Onion powder

1 teaspoon White pepper

- Mix all ingredients and store in an air tight container.

Chef Mark’s Sweet and Spicy Sauce:

2 cups Mayonnaise

¼ cup Sweet chili sauce, the oriental ones work great here!

¼ teaspoon Granulated garlic

¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Lemon juice

- Place all the ingredients in medium bowl and mix and chill thoroughly.

Pineapple Salsa:

1 cup Fresh Hawaiian pineapple – finely diced

½ cup Sweet red pepper, finely diced

½ cup Red onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 tablespoon Cilantro, chopped

1-1/2 tablespoon Honey

¼ cup Rice wine vinegar

1 Each Fresh Lime, hand squeezed

Step 1 – Combine the pineapple, onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a non-metallic bowl and set aside.

Step 2 – Whisk together the honey, rice wine vinegar and cilantro and toss with together with other ingredients and squeeze the juice of the fresh lime over the salsa. Cover and chill until ready to use.

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